Massive superstore given go-ahead

A SUFFOLK town is set to get a new Tesco superstore following a knife-edge vote by planners.

Paul Geater

A SUFFOLK town is set to get a new Tesco superstore following a knife-edge vote by planners.

Members of Ipswich Borough Council's development and planning committee voted 6-7 - along party lines - to approve proposals for a �70 million regeneration project on Grafton Way.

At the heart of the proposal is a massive new Tesco superstore - but it also includes 129 flats, two hotels, and other shops and

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The decision will now have to be sent to the Government Office of the East of England (Go-East) for final approval.

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That could be delayed by the general election - but Tesco is hoping to be able to start work on the site in September and have the superstore ready to open its doors by Christmas 2011.

Mike Cook, from the Ipswich Society, said the proposal would damage the town centre and would also increase congestion and general traffic problems.

Assis Carreiro, director of Dance East, spoke in favour of the application.

She said: “We have created at Dance East a major attraction for the whole area.

“The proposal will bring much needed regeneration to an area that is in bad need of it, and there is the promise of �10 million in environmental improvements to the whole area.”

She said the development would boost the Waterfront as a whole.

William Coe, the chairman of Ipswich Central, opposed the application.

He said: “This application is opposed by the majority of town centre businesses in Ipswich who are very concerned about its impact on the town.

“There is a development opportunity at the Westgate Centre which would enhance the town centre and if this is rejected today we can press ahead with that proposal.

“Grafton Way is not in the centre of Ipswich and it will pull people away from the heart of the town.”

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